Violence – in its many forms – is a major public health challenge.

The women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems experience first-hand the devastating impact violence has on individuals’ lives and health every day. And they see how violence can ripple through a community, affecting not just the injured but their family, friends and neighbors.

In 2016, under the leadership of the AHA Board of Trustees, we developed the Hospitals Against Violence (HAV) initiative to shine a light on how hospitals and health systems are working to heal victims of violence as well as their communities … and prevent further acts of violence.

Hospitals and health systems are partnering with community groups to address violence in its many forms. And the HAV initiative is sharing examples and best practices with the field, with a particular emphasis on youth violence prevention, workplace violence prevention and combatting human trafficking.

Today, we are proud to sponsor our second annual #HAVhope Day of Awareness. All day, hospitals, health systems and their community supporters from every corner of the country have been sharing examples on social media of how they are standing up to violence and speaking out for their patients and communities. You can see the many examples on social media by following the hashtag #HAVhope. You can also view a video highlighting the many submissions below.

I encourage you to explore our Hospitals Against Violence webpage (https://www.aha.org/ahia/advancing-best-practices/hospitals-against-violence) for further information on national, state and local efforts to help end violence in our communities and to help hospital employees cope with the impact of violence, whether at home, on the job or in their neighborhoods. There, you can also sign up as a #HAVhope supporter. And please share the good work your organization is doing by joining the conversation on social media and tagging your post with #HAVhope!